The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Grand Rapids, Michigan
including Kent
Mayors, Postmasters

Mayors of Grand Rapids, 1850-2007 (may be incomplete!)
Henry R. Williams 1850-51 Ralph W. Cole 1851-52 William H. Withey 1852-53 Thomas B. Church 1853-54 Wilder D. Foster 1854-55 Charles Shepard 1855-56 John M. Fox 1856-57 William T. Powers 1857-58 Gilbert M. McCray 1858-59 George K. Johnson 1859-60 Martin L. Sweet 1860-61 George H. White 1861-63 Charles C. Comstock 1863-65 Wilder D. Foster 1865-67 John W. Champlin 1867-68 Moses V. Aldrich 1868-71 Leonard H. Randall 1871-72 Julius Houseman 1872-73 Peter R. L. Peirce 1873-74 Julius Houseman 1874-75 Peter R. L. Peirce 1875-77 George W. Thayer 1877-78 Henry S. Smith 1878-79 Francis Letellier 1879-80 Henry S. Smith 1880-81 George G. Steketee 1881-82 Edmund B. Dikeman 1882-83 Crawford Angell 1883-84 Charles E. Belknap 1884-85 John L. Curtiss 1885-86 Edmund B. Dikeman 1886-88 Isaac M. Weston 1888-89 John Killean 1889-90 Edwin F. Uhl 1890-92 William J. Stuart 1892-94 Ernest B. Fisher 1894-95 Charles D. Stebbins 1895-96 Lathrop C. Stow 1896-98 George R. Perry 1898-1902 W. Millard Palmer 1902-04 Edwin F. Sweet 1904-06 George E. Ellis 1906-16 George P. Tilma 1916-17 Philo C. Fuller 1917-18 Christian Gallmeyer 1918-20 John McNabb 1920-22 William Oltman 1922-23 Julius Tisch 1923-24 Elvin Swarthout 1924-30 John D. Karel 1930-34 William Timmers 1934-36 Tunis Johnson 1936-38 George W. Welsh 1938-49 Stanley J. Davis 1949-50 Paul G. Goebel 1950-53 George Veldman 1954-56 Paul G. Goebel 1956-58 Stanley J. Davis 1958-63 C. H. Sonneveldt 1964-69 Robert Boelens 1970-71 Lyman S. Parks 1971-75 Abe L. Drasin 1976-83 Gerald R. Helmholdt 1984-91 John H. Logie 1991- George K. Heartwell 2004-

Events and Candidates (may be incomplete!)

  • 1868: John W. Champlin (Dem), defeated.
  • 1880 Apr 5: Henry S. Smith (National), elected.
  • 1889 Apr 1: John Killean (Dem), elected; Charles W. Watkins (Rep), defeated.
  • 1896 Apr 6: Lathrop C. Stow (Rep), elected.
  • 1898: Arthur R. Rood (Rep), defeated.
  • 1900 Apr 2: George R. Perry (Dem), elected; William J. Stuart (Rep), defeated.
  • 1902 Apr 7: W. Millard Palmer (Rep), elected; George R. Perry (Dem), defeated.
  • 1904 Apr 4: Edwin F. Sweet (Dem), elected.
  • 1906 Apr 2: George E. Ellis (Rep), elected; Charles R. Sligh (Dem), defeated; Edwin F. Sweet, defeated.
  • 1908 Apr 6: George E. Ellis (Rep), elected; Charles R. Sligh (Dem), defeated; Sybrant Wesselius (Ind), defeated.
  • 1910 Apr 4: Ate Dykstra, defeated; George E. Ellis (Rep), elected.
  • 1912 Apr 1: George E. Ellis (Rep), elected.
  • 1914 Apr 6: George E. Ellis, elected.
  • 1916 Mar 14: George E. Ellis, advanced to runoff; George P. Tilma, advanced to runoff; John McNabb, defeated; Horace W. Hakes, defeated; H. Z. Ward, defeated.
  • 1916 Apr 3: George P. Tilma, elected; George E. Ellis, defeated.
  • 1917 Mar 7: Philo C. Fuller, advanced to runoff; George E. Ellis, advanced to runoff; Gerrit J. Johnson, defeated; Charles H. Leonard, defeated; William Hensler, defeated.
  • 1917 Apr 2: Philo C. Fuller, elected; George E. Ellis, defeated.
  • 1924 Mar 5: Elvin Swarthout, elected; Arthur F. Shaw, defeated; Leo J. Price, defeated.
  • 1926 Mar 4: Elvin Swarthout, elected unopposed.
  • 1928 Mar 5: Elvin Swarthout, elected unopposed.
  • 1930 Mar 3: Elvin Swarthout, advanced to runoff; John D. Karel, advanced to runoff; Edward P. Heaton, defeated.
  • 1930 Apr 7: John D. Karel, elected; Elvin Swarthout, defeated.
  • 1932 Mar 7: John D. Karel, advanced to runoff; John A. Whitworth, advanced to runoff; George H. Gruenbauer, defeated; Arthur J. Briggs, defeated.
  • 1932 Apr 4: John D. Karel, elected; John A. Whitworth, defeated.
  • 1934 Mar 5: William Timmers, advanced to runoff; John D. Karel, advanced to runoff; Russell J. Boyle, defeated; M. Edward Davenport, defeated; George Veldman, defeated; John North, defeated; John H. Schouten, defeated.
  • 1934 Apr 5: William Timmers, elected; John D. Karel, defeated.
  • 1936 Mar 2: Tunis Johnson, elected; William Timmers, defeated; William A. Timmer, defeated; John North, defeated.
  • 1938 Mar 7: George W. Welsh, advanced to runoff; Dale Souter, advanced to runoff; Harry A. Hart, defeated; Fred W. Hicks, defeated.
  • 1938 Apr 4: George W. Welsh, elected; Dale Souter, defeated.
  • 1940 Feb 19: George W. Welsh, advanced to runoff; Frederick E. Stiles, advanced to runoff; Stanley M. Tudor, defeated.
  • 1940 Apr 1: George W. Welsh, elected; Frederick E. Stiles, defeated.
  • 1942 Feb 16: George W. Welsh, elected; Ernest T. Conlon, defeated; Joseph A. Kozak, defeated; Joseph P. Wright, defeated.
  • 1944 Feb 21: George W. Welsh, advanced to runoff; Edward A. Borgman, advanced to runoff; Ernest T. Conlon, defeated; Joseph P. Wright, defeated; Warren C. Ladd, defeated.
  • 1944 Apr 3: George W. Welsh, elected; Edward A. Borgman, defeated.
  • 1956 Feb 20: Paul G. Goebel, elected; George Veldman, defeated; Stanley J. Davis, defeated; Louis Bozin, defeated; Victor C. Johnson, defeated; Anthony Russo, defeated.
  • 1958 Apr 8: Stanley J. Davis, elected; Lewis DeKorne, defeated.

    Postmasters at Grand Rapids, 1832-1969 (may be incomplete!)
    Leonard Slater 1832-36 James M. Nelson 1844-45 Truman H. Lyon 1845-49 Ralph W. Cole 1849-53 Truman H. Lyon 1853-57 Harvey P. Yale 1857-61 Noyes L. Avery 1861-66 Charles H. Taylor 1866-67 Solomon O. Kingsbury 1867-69 Aaron B. Turner 1869-77 Peter R. L. Peirce 1877-78 James Gallup 1878-82 Heman N. Moore 1882-85 James Blair 1885-90 George G. Briggs 1890-94 Thomas F. Carroll 1894-98 Loomis K. Bishop 1898-1912 W. Millard Palmer 1912-14 Charles Holden 1914 Charles E. Hogadone 1914-23 Robert G. Hill 1923-24 Robert G. Hill 1924-29 Aaron E. Davis 1929 Aaron E. Davis 1929-33 Frank C. Jarvis 1933-34 Frank C. Jarvis 1934-46 Ernest A. Sackerman 1946-48 Arthur W. Hamilton 1948-49 Arthur W. Hamilton 1949-54 Martin E. Chirgwin 1954 H. Wayne Parker 1954-67 Lillian E. Kiel 1967-69

    Events and Candidates (may be incomplete!)

  • 1878 Nov 12: Peter R. L. Peirce, died in office.

    (renamed Grand Rapids 1844)

    Postmasters at Kent, 1836-44 (may be incomplete!)
    Darius Winsor 1836-38 Alfred D. Rathbone 1838-41 James M. Nelson 1841-44

  • "Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
    Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
    The Political Graveyard

    The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 320,919 politicians, living and dead.
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